Austin City Council District 7 candidates’ forum

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Eight candidates are running for the District 7 council seat. Many subjects were covered Thursday; some citywide, and some unique to this North Austin district.

The crowd packed into the Alamo Drafthouse as the candidates sounded off on familiar issues like traffic and skyrocketing property taxes. District 7 is largely dependent on Burnet Road, so development there is crucial. Many candidates talked about expanding bus routes to alleviate some congestion.

That corridor feeds into neighborhoods like Brentwood, Crestview and Allandale. Neighborhood preservation is a big issue for many voters in the district.

“It’s great to have the development. We just want to make sure there’s enough parking, there isn’t loud music at 2 a.m. — that kind of stuff,” said Laura DiCarlo, safety chair of the Allendale Neighborhood Association. “It’s just growth and development along with a neighborhood that’s a family-oriented community.”

Those attending the forum also say they felt confident in the candidates’ long term outlooks.

“They all had a very good vision for the future. They were all thinking ahead–all thinking about planning,” said Jacqueline Thomas, who lives in the Crestview neighborhood. “[There was] a lot of focus on planning—on holistic, comprehensive planning.”

Rising property taxes have come up in every forum KXAN has hosted. So far, to help folks out, candidates have proposed ideas like homestead exemptions and expediting the permitting process to simply get more homes built more quickly.

Watch video from the forum below:

Up until the November election, KXAN is helping you make an informed vote. For the first time ever, Austin will be represented by geographic districts. All month KXAN has hosted forums with the candidates running for each of the 10 city council districts.

Five local media outlets have teamed up to bring Austinites a comprehensive series of in-district Austin City Council candidate debates as a prelude to the city’s first geographically-dependent-City Council elections. The outlets, local NPR-affiliate KUT, NBC-affiliate KXAN, Univision, the Austin Chronicle, and the Austin Monitor promise a stand out series that will include audience participation and live web streaming.

The media outlets believe that the inclusive nature of the events, the wide broadcast of the discussion, and the balance of organizations putting them together will add significantly to the dialogue around the most significant political change in the city’s recent history. A complete schedule of the forums can be found below.

All of the forums will be free and open to the public.

District 1: September 8, Wesley United Methodist Church – Watch it here
District 2: September 10, Dove Springs Recreation Center –Watch it here
District 3: September 15, the North Door – Watch it here
District 4: September 17, the Marchesa Theater –Watch it here
District 5: September 22, Austin Community College, South Austin Campus – Watch it here
District 6: September 23, Alamo Drafthouse Lakline – Watch it here
District 7: October 2, Alamo Drafthouse Village – RSVP Here
District 8: September 29, Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter, KXAN anchor Shannon Wolfson will moderate this forum. – Watch it here
District 9: October 6, KUT Studio 1a, KXAN anchor Shannon Wolfson will moderate this forum. – RSVP Here
District 10: October 8, LCRA HQ – RSVP Here
Mayor: October 15, KUT Moody Auditorium KXAN anchor Shannon Wolfson will co-moderate this forum. –RSVP Here

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